August 31, 2011 § 10 Comments
How could I pass up the opportunity to participate in the lovely Tara Cain’s Gallery this week. The theme is animals. I feel I owe it to my dog, Doris, to set the record straight. I’ve been a bit mean about her in the past. But not many pets put up with moonlighting as Bullseye from Toy Story. I love the look on my 1yo’s face in the image below as he’s caught riding the bulldog again (this is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN). Doris tolerates the children kissing her, jumping on her and stroking her backwards. She’s never once snapped. She is a bully by name alone; terrified of our small fluffy cat.
I love your one speckled ear
The world’s softest dog
How can anyone look at you with fear?
Yet in the park you divide opinion
Either “int she luverly!” in squeals of South London
Or frozen to the path, look of trepidation
Until I give my usual reposte
“Please don’t worry, she’s ever so soft.”
April 26, 2011 § 8 Comments
I started writing a post about my idyllic sunny weekend spent up in the Herefordshire countryside, the urchins running around naked under sprinklers, me with my feet up enjoying my MIL’s home cooked food. But no, smug off, I thought, upon re-reading. Instead I’m going to have a small rant. About attitudes towards female pet owners. In fact attitudes towards female pet owners who also happen to have small children. In fact attitudes towards female pet owners who also happen to have small children and are pregnant. They stink.
A small example. Yesterday I walked to the local garden centre with the dog, plus 1yo and 3yo. The garden centre owner asked if he could give Doris dog a biscuit. “Of course” I replied. Then “Sit, Doris.” She obediently sits. “Paw!” I then say, wanting to show off the new dog tricks we have been working on. “Oh no,” says the garden centre owner, struggling to control his sneer, looking down at me over the top of his glasses. “She doesn’t have to beg for it.” He dishes out the biccy, turns his shoulder and walks off. OK, this may sound like a very small and insignificant exchange. But to me the slight was obvious, and I can’t imagine this man being quite so disparaging and dismissive of a male dog owner who was trying to show off his dog’s skills. OH agrees with me. He has never experienced any sneeriness or questioning of his ability to look after our pets. But I have, quite a lot.
Another time, heavily pregnant, and with a toddler in tow, I took one of my rescue cats to the vets to have its vaccinations renewed. OK, I had missed the booster appointment, and had to start again with the vacs. But the cat was there, clearly a well groomed and healthy specimen. And no longer languishing in a stinking rescue centre cage somewhere in darkest Lewisham, unwanted and unloved. The vet enquired as to the wellbeing of my other cat, took a pointed look at my child and at my belly, and said “were you quite prepared for the ownership of two cats, madam?” WHAT?! As a lifelong cat owner (my two elderly cats having died the year before) I was affronted to say the least. I love my cats. I feed them. I give them access to the garden. I deflea them and groom them. But at the end of the day they are just bloody cats. What the hell does it have to do with being a mother? Cats get out of the way if children decide to chase them. Cats are pretty good at looking after themselves.
I could go on. About the time I took Doris dog in to see a (different) vet and the grilling I was given for no apparent reason. OH has experienced nothing but banter and good nature from these same vets. It seems that whilst women are considered reliable child rearers, we are not given any credit for knowing how to handle animals. It is very frustrating. You could even say purrplexing. If you wanted to.
April 18, 2011 § 2 Comments
Yesterday I snuck away for a quick shower whilst my boys ate breakfast. My eyes are shut and I’m enjoying the moment, when suddenly the screen door is pulled open and a small hand reaches in and prods my knee. It is 3yo.
“Mummy, mummy, I fink de Cloud is DEAD!” he announces with an unmistakeably excited tone to his voice. “I fink a fox has eatened him.”
The Cloud is one of our cats. 3yo doesn’t seem in the slightest bit put out.
Upon further probing (shower abandoned) it appears there’s no real reason to think the Cloud has gone to the great cat basket in the sky. Just he’s not pitched up for breakfast.
“Don’t you love the Cloud?” I ask. He thinks for a bit. “Not weally mummy. He scratches Patchy (other cat.) And hisses at Doris (dog.)” 3yo has clearly got his hopes up.
When it comes to the Cloud, I am conflicted. He has clawed his way to the top of the pet pecking order. It is hilarious to witness the bulldog refuse to go out the garden for a wee because a small fluffy cat is standing on the patio. But the Cloud is my cat, rescued as a kitten. He spends every night curled up on my knee, and follows me from room to room. In fact I probably get more cuddles from the Cloud than any other member of the family.
Here is a picture of the fearsome Cloud. Now you can see what we’re up against. Grrrr…
As an aside…3yo is looking forward to Easter. We are going to do an Easter egg hunt in Grandma’s garden. He informed me the other day that while he’s at it he also wants to “catch the Easter wabbit and eat him for our dinner.” How have I raised a child who can be so unemotional about the demise of small, fluffy animals?
March 28, 2011 § 2 Comments
A quick autopsy confirms cause of ear loss is mauling by bulldog.
Interrogation of suspect proves fruitless. Motivation presumed to be protest at being left alone for a half hour.
Suspect claims diminished responsibility due to abandonment.
3yo soon identifies another transgression. Doris has eaten through the telephone cable. A clear cry for attention by attempting to cut off our means of communication with the outside world.
Judge rules in favour of bulldog and orders more ear-scratching and an immediate trip to the park.